Debate Wrap

Carly Fiorina 01OK, one thing I got wrong in my debate predictions:
The late one last night was a hoot.

I don’t know if people will be talking about it in a month, but it was some solid TV watching. (And I will say as well that watching it with the Twitter whirling is really a treat. Awesome way to follow along.)

In any case, a few thoughts…


Because of the way they came in, regarding Winners and Losers, I’d say (and these have changed from my original thoughts on the Twitter):


Rubio — because he had the strongest showing, hadn’t really been in the news lately, and arguably got some points out of the whole thing.

Kasich — because he only joined the fray recently and this was an introduction to him for many (if not most). He wasn’t exactly electric, but he was solid.

Christie — because he had been lower in the polls ever since The Bridge, and this might have raised him a little.



These candidates all gave, at times, very good answers. But they also didn’t shine through to any huge extent. Their fans still like them. Their detractors still don’t. They likely didn’t gain or lose much from the undecideds. (This is without looking at any polling data, etc.)


Rand Paul — because while his fans will still like him, and he gave some good answers, and took on Trump early on, he also got zinged by Trump, and generally came across as the angry guy.

Trump — because he got hit early with the “3rd party run” question, the Rosie O’Donnell line, the threat to Megyn Kelly and the post-debate attacks on her, and being stumped on the “Mexican government” question (where the basis of his “proof” about the government sending illegals was talking to some border agents).

Sure Trump took a majority of the air time, and was the focus for much of the evening, but he likely lost many undecideds with his continued bombast. Drudge notwithstanding (and online polls are worse than useless), I cannot believe that LIKELY VOTERS came away from that and said, “I think Trump is my guy…


That being said, I do think Trump’s 3rd party plan is this:

“You better nominate me. Because if you don’t, I will run as a 3rd party candidate, insuring that Hillary will win. And you’d rather have me than Hillary. So you better nominate me, or else.”

Of course, Trump may just be bluffing.
(And will a voter really take that into account in the booth?)
But no one thinks Trump is NOT crazy enough to do it.


And the real winner of the night?

Carly Fiorina.

If you missed the Happy Hour debate, you saw that while she wasn’t exactly head-and-shoulders above the others (Rick Perry was very good as well), she was Rubio-level and “won”, if you had to pick a winner.

She would have likely been good in the Prime Time debate as well, but being one of seven, instead of ten, probably helped.

But if there was any doubt how good she can be, Chris Matthews helped prove it. If you missed her on MSNBC post-debate, you should definitely watch here:

She absolutely slams BOTH Hillary AND Matthews. It was like a deft pool shot where she knocks them both in.

More time will tell how she converts that performance into a Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But if she doesn’t gain the nomination, she is in the driver’s seat for VP.


And what do you think?
Will Trump’s bombast last?
Can Fiorina make the leap?
Will Rubio’s or Kasich’s performance convince people?
Did Walker or Bush do anything to lose their leads?

And hey, it’s still a Carl Curtis Open Comment Friday, so if you have some thoughts on your local Weed Commissioner’s policies, feel free to fire away.

Stay cool!


  1. Lil Mac says:

    After this first GOP debate, my prediction remains Biden vs Trump, with Trump winning because Trump makes me cringe. –Apparently Sweeper cringed too. Any partisan would.

    When Trump opened his mouth, I cringed. I couldn’t help it. I am an informed partisan. I know the backgrounds of everyone in the debate. I wish Boehner and McConnell weren’t so easily manipulated by Democrats. Yet I am exactly the opposite of Trump’s target GOP audience, who are the tip of an enormous electoral iceberg that includes Independents and conservative Democrats who hate seeing Obama call Republicans “enemy” while apologizing to countries that want to kill us.

    These are the same Americans to whom Reagan appealed. And they include a large chunk of nominally registered Republicans who wants to shoot Boehner and McConnell in the kneecaps and throw them in a ditch along with Reid and Pelosi.

    Trump voters are like the angry wife of a habitually drunk husband who fights in bars and loses the paycheck. She isn’t interested in who hit her hubby first. She isn’t listening to his pleas. She will crack his skull with a frying pan to either fix him or kill him and move on. For her, it’s a matter of survival.

    Many Americans don’t want another candidate who is loyal to his party. They want someone who won’t automatically support any and every jerk who might be his party’s nominee. They want to hear someone say, “I don’t have time for total political correctness and to be honest with you this country doesn’t have time either.” Trump said that and I cringed. But then I realized its deeper truth.

    The rest of the GOP candidates aimed for GOP votes. — Walker and Kasich did well. Jeb was uneven so as to improve in later debates. Rand ranted. But to what end? — All of them except Trump strived make the old guard elephant smile. Trump made the old guard elephant cringe.

    Trump seems to be putting up Reagan’s “Big Tent” where loyal elephants are uncomfortable. Trump intends to tranquilize the beast and drag it along behind him into the oval office, just as a former-Democrat union president once did.

  2. Big Surprise says:

    I am shocked – shocked, I tell you – that Sweeper thinks Christie won and Paul lost.

    I’m becoming increasingly convinced that, as a lifelong Republican, the term “Republican” means less and less about ideology, and more and more about being sensationally anti-Democrat.

  3. Sparkles says:

    It was quite obvious in last night’s debate that Rupert and Roger, the nominally surreptitious heads of the GOP, chose to ding The Donald.

    It’s a strategy certain to bring them great angst, followed by immense misery.
    This Frankenstein’s Monster of an anti-government ,TEA addled party that Ailes and right wing radio have so carefully nurtured (and immensely profited from) has now unexpectedly spit forth a Bride of Frankenstein, in the form of The Donald.

    A Bride with the resources and the allied angry mobs that will permit it to break free from the formal constraints of the GOP and it’s moneyed masters.
    A Bride who, now spurned, is about to commence laying waste to any hopes of a Republican president in ’16.

    Good times.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure a Clinton – Biden Administration can find a use for Donald Trump. Ambassador to Russia for starters. That’d be funny.

  5. Oh jeez. Yeah, Murdoch and Ailes run the GOP.

    Why would anyone take you seriously, Sparkles?

    Trump will flame out on the GOP primaries. His bombast still fascinates people. It will grow very tired, very quickly, and people will notice he supported single-payer healthcare reform (actually, Scotland isn’t single-payer, it’s a government-run, nationalized system), and crony capitalism, and donated to the Clintons.

    His real threat is as a third-party candidate; even so, I’m not at all sure he’ll simply damage Republicans. He attracts stupid people, and many if not most of those are Democrats.

    I thought Rubio did well, and Fiorina.

  6. Sparkles says:

    It appears a it’s become a common delusion here that Trump’s base includes democratic leaning voters.

    There’s zero evidence to support this.

    In fact – from a recent dive into the demographics by Monmouth University –
    As it turns out, the Trump coalition looks a lot like the rest of the Republican Party. Other than a spike in support in the Northeast, there is little in recent polling data to distinguish Trump’s supporters from the heart of the GOP primary electorate.
    Trump voters skew older, whiter and more male, but no more so than the rest of the Republican primary electorate.
    ..“They’re in the middle of the Republican Party. They’re not evangelicals. They’re not hardline social or fiscal conservatives. They’re also not on the liberal side of the party,”

  7. Forty Years Against The Tide says:

    I thought Rand Paul came off like a petulant teenager. Bush appeared nervous and lackluster at times. Walker didn’t have any type of commanding presence. Huck and Cruz were consistently on point and Statesmen-like. Rubio was good but needs to change up his stump speeches, I’ve heard some of them a over and over. Trump was entertaining, as always. Carson is remarkable but not as knowledgeable as he needs to be for this stage. Next time I’d like to see Jindahl and Fiorina in the top tier debate. Both still impress me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Christie’s parting remarks to Rand Paul about hugging 9/11 families was cheesy–no pun intended. A Hallmark moment of exploit. As for Rand’s own hug remark about Christie? Christie threw Mitt Romney under the bus with that gesture weeks before the 2012 election, but then again there’s that awful image of Christie loving Jerry Jones during a Dallas Cowboy moment. The guy is an emotional sponge.

    Rand had it correct. You should be required to have a warrant. As for Paul being the “angry” person for daring to mention privacy rights and actually having the kahonies to stick a half thumb in Trump’s eye though Jeb pretty much stayed under the radar…..what a brand of vanilla. Maybe Rand should have pointed out that the only reason Christie was on the stage was for his large –no pun intended–ad purchase w/ Fox. Oh no…..that wasn’t a ploy, just playing innocent to all those who were a tad seedy with Bridgegate–where he knew nothing. Where have we heard that line before?

  9. Aksarbent, er, I mean Sparkles, is making it up as he goes along, as usual. Monmouth did not poll Democrats about Trump, so there is no basis for saying he has no support among Democrats. They did poll NH GOP primary likely voters and found…

    “New Hampshire’s open primary system allows undeclared voters to participate in party primaries. Trump does better among registered independents and new voters (29%) likely to go to the polls in February than he does among already registered Republicans (21%).”

    Nationally, Monmouth just polled Republicans about Republican candidates. So how one is supposed to deduce Trump’s Democrat support is a mystery.

  10. KHDS says:

    Yes, Trump is trying to blackmail the entire GOP. What a blowhard egotistical prick he is.

    Carly is fabulous. She was interviewed on Morning Joe for 17 minutes this AM. Dynamite. She even won over the MSNBC people. I am not kidding.

  11. Sparkles says:


    This is all a bit pedantic, but since you called me out, permit me to prove you wrong.

    Politico The Mystery of the Trump Coalition

    The article is quite clear. It specifically cites Patrick Murray of Monmouth University and links to their recent poll (July 13), conducted on.. wait for it..
    “Republican voters nationwide..”

    It’s not rocket science.
    Trump voters are disillusioned TEA party Republicans for whom the current batch they’ve sent to Washington haven’t proven extreme enough.
    They haven’t impeached Obama, they haven’t jailed Hillary, dismantled the IRS, shuttered Planned Parenthood, repealed ObamaCare or allowed public schools to replace ‘Exploring Science, Grade 4’, with the Bible.

  12. That’s a 3 week old poll; Monmouth have done two since then. It was GOP only. It had Trump at 13%. It found 40% of Republicans thought Trump was only in it for the publicity. And the sample contained only 138 tea party supporters.

    I suggest you read the poll data. Otherwise we’re getting your spin on top of Politico’s spin.

  13. Kortezzi says:

    Trump won by not losing.
    Rand did the worst, getting overly upset over communications surveillance (again). Christie won that exchange.
    Rubio was subpar but didn’t hurt himself.
    Kasich was awful, bragging about taking Federal $ for Ohio and refusing again to explain why St. Peter will commend him for giving to the poor without asking him why he took other taxpayer’s money to do it.
    Cruz, Walker and Carson did quite well with the limited time they had to speak.
    Huckabee is way down my list but did better than I expected and had some terrific lines.

    Cruz and Walker remain my favorites…and Carson and Carly would make superb Cabinet secretaries.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Every GOP candidate except Trump promised to support a child molesting cannibal incestuous killer as the GOP nominee, if that was indeed the GOP nominee.

  15. TexasAnnie says:

    True, Anonymous above! That’s the nature of hypotheticals.

    I’m glad Rand Paul is still petulant about our privacy rights. He did come off a little angrier than I would prefer, but his demagoguery is more pleasant than the warmongering espoused by some Republicans.
    Fiorina looked good. Trump was funny. My takaway: I doubt I’ll be voting Republican next year.

    We need tax justice so we can then go about resolving the other problems Americans confront… So I doubt I’ll be voting Democrat, too!

  16. Trump on CNN made a disgusting remark implying in a crude way Megyn Kelly was having her period. The man doesn’t belong in an election for dogcatcher. He doesn’t belong in civil society period.

  17. …in fact, there was a time, not too long ago, when any gentleman would have felt honor-bound to take a horsewhip to Donald Trump in the public street for some of what he was said about Megyn Kelly.

    Sometimes I think we’re too civilized for our own good.

  18. They Eye Ball says:

    Chris Christie, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump are disasters. Trump is a pot boiling over. His threat of a third party run is enough to jettison him. Christie does himself no good in picking a fight with Rand Paul. Kasich may speak well, but he has been a moderate governor. I have no clue why people like Huckabee or why anyone thinks he can win.

    Bust ain’t bad, but he just isn’t good.

  19. Me-gyn-ological Correctness says:

    Donald Trump holds up an X-ray showing America full of a metastasized cancer of Political Correctness and yet top Republicans don’t know what they are looking at.

    Megyn Kelly should have asked any the nine other GOP debate candidates why they, in effect, said they’d kneejerk support Hannibal Lector if he was the GOP nominee. But, oddly, like a GOP version of Rosy O’Donnell, Megyn Kelly ignored whether Trump would endanger or safeguard America and instead hammered him for saying “fat bitch,” as if rude words add pounds or turn people into dogs.

    That same insane superficiality is the PC cancer that has eaten up the Democrat Jackass and now has the GOP elephant in a coma.

    Since Obama is so very polite while he hands our enemies nuclear weapons, you’d think Republicans would see their own Political Correctness feeding this national cancer. But they don’t.

    Republicans today demand apologies just like Democrats do. It is downright creepy.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Clinton’s greatest ally is Donald Trump.

    Trump’s mouth sucks all political oxygen out of the Republican room to the extent that Trump effectively defines Republicanism in the public mind. The Republican party, establishment and associated PACs will gnaw at the stump that is Trump as long as he’s present & active during this election cycle.

    All Clinton has to do is focus on whoever the final Republican candidate is, and maintain that person’s connection with The Donald, whether there is a connection in-fact or not. Result: 8 years of Hillary Clinton in the White House.

    The party better commit Donald to the shitter ASAP or kiss the White House goodbye ’till ’24.

  21. Anonymous says:

    11:36 a.m. You think that’s scary, you should see the write-up of Fortenberry’s Lincoln Town Hall. Apparently 300 citizens showed up loaded for bear but Fort just deflected their concerns about the Iran deal by saying he owed it to the voters to study both the pros and cons and be very deliberative about this. And that’s your GOP 1st Dist Congressman in a nutshell. We’re doomed.

  22. Macdaddy says:

    Trump had a shot. He latched on to the mood of the voters and sounded like he understood the passion. Then the snap. Rather than taking his new-found attention and leading a serious discussion of the issues, he turned it into a 3 ring circus. He’s done because he just can’t help himself.

  23. Sparkles says:

    Charlie Cook, one of the industry’s most respected political analysts, has a fascinating article in the April 18th issue of National Journal magazine.
    The article is titled; The GOP’s Voter-ID Problem

    The take a way line –
    “But what has to be deeply unsettling to Republicans is what has happened with party affiliation over the past seven years.”

    It appears the TEA Party chickens, or as John McCain calls them, ‘wacko birds’, are coming home to roost.

    Thank you Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann! Thank you Texas duo Ted and Louie!
    Thank you Donald.
    Please, please keep cranking up the that crazy!
    Oh, and when you return from your August vacations, pleeaaassee shut down the government (again) over Planned Parenthood.

    Just ignore the fact that even at the height of anger from the surreptitious videos, a newly released poll (August 5, NBC/Wall Street Journal) finds that Planned Parenthood is still more popular than the National Rifle Association, the Supreme Court, both political parties, every presidential candidate and President Barack Obama.
    Just ignore reality and keep pandering to that ever-diminishing socially conservative, anti-government base. A base that’s lost you the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 Presidential elections. An truly astonishing record stretching back more than two decades and likely to become three.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Sparkly, in your mind’s context you may have a case, but contemplate this on the tree of woe, we may still only have Hillary

  25. Anonymous says:

    Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a Vermont event was “pushed away”, physically rebuffed, by Black Democrats who took over the microphone spoke about how awful Blacks are treated, calling Sanders and the Liberal Democrats in the audience, “White Supremacist Liberals.”

    Sanders waved goodbye and “left the stage with a raised fist salute”.

    Reports don’t say if his Black Panther salute fist has a white middle finger sticking up out of it.

    Pelosi, Reid and Kerry with KKK robes. Funny. You do know, of course, that Obama is the whitest Black guy in the USA. Grand Wizard Barry.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Now Trump is supposed to apologize for Megyn Kelly being on the rag. Why?

    Any woman can freely badger any man as being violently full of testosterone, but if Trump suggests Megyn Kelly was on the rag during her angry and ridiculously apolitical imitation of Rosy O’Donnell during the debate, how is that wrong? Kelly did have “blood in her eye”. There was blood in her posture and her attack demeanor. Kelly irrationally ignored Trump on Iraq and Immigration and like a bitch, Kelly attacked Trump for calling a woman a bitch.

    If people want to assume Trump was referring to a monthly period, well, tit for tat. If Testosterone is an all-purpose male slam, women have millennia of well-deserved monthly bitchiness they need to own.

    Politically Correctness is a cancer not a cough. You can bash white men for anything. That’s good. But Blacks (not Asians or Whites) must be pitied and respected. And women must be protected as femininely vulnerable and yet respected for strength. These are convenient dodges that allow one not take responsibility for their own actions. And in fact women and blacks are better than that.

    Hollywood grinds out movies of lady SEALS and ass kickers but in truth, men can usually cold cock a woman and women can usually bitch a man down to the ground with a tongue lashing, often while on the rag. But people differ and some guys are wimps and some women can knock your lights out. But to assume all women can do both because they women, that’ stupid. And people are getting tis even if the GOP leadership isn’t.

    Trump has this PC thing nailed. Leading Republicans still don’t see it. Of course, Trump is nuts. That’s no impediment in politics.

  27. “Now Trump is supposed to apologize for Megyn Kelly being on the rag. Why?”

    Because women who behave in a way you don’t like must be menstruating.

    “Any woman can freely badger any man as being violently full of testosterone”

    She can try it, but I’ll come down her as hard as I do on this troglodyte. The answer to ‘progressives’ attacking us for being white and male is not to insult them for being black or female or whatever. The answer is something white men created: logic. Trump lacks any command of it.

  28. Macdaddy says:

    At some point you have to make a cogent argument. Trump is like a kid who made everyone laugh once and keeps doing the same thing over and over thinking that he’s a comedic genius. He yelled at one interviewer, his numbers went up, and now that’s all he can do. It’s already old. I don’t think he’ll be done in a month because the problem with being bombastic is that you constantly have to outdo yourself and that’s too valuable to the MSM as they try to drag Hillary’s brain-damaged carcass across the finish line. But he needs to be done.

  29. Winston Smith says:

    Whether Trump evaporates or not isn’t important. He reveals that the great divide isn’t right vs. left or GOP vs. Democrat. It is not political. It is far more dangerous.

    Trump is ripping Americans out of the Matrix. Awakening them to their own PC enslavement. Trump is no messiah. He’s just pulling your plugs out, with a bit of shock therapy, to let you look around.

    Read Orwell again. Our Thoughtpolice today can read your micro expressions in real time nearly anywhere. Your behavior’s are analyzed and recorded. Thoughtcrime is real as ourt double punishment, not for violent acts but for improper emotions you feel. Our Ministry of Love monitors every reflex, facial expression, and reaction to the point where it becomes ingrained in our person. And, most insidious and pervasive, is Orwell’s Crimestop, which is us being coerced to a Stockholm syndrome-like habit that makes us unwittingly police ourselves to ignore facts and rational inquiry so we automatically support imposed proper thought. As Winston Smith put it, “The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive.”

    Orwell called this self-imposed blindness to the rude and raw of fact “protective stupidity.” It is the modern matrix of political correctness. It isn’t freedom.

    Trump isn’t important. The fact that he is revealing this is.

  30. The 60's are back says:

    The comments here have me convinced that the recreational use of LSD is again popular. There isn’t anything else that could fuel the kinds of trips some of these people seem to be on.

  31. Trump got some laughs at points, but the strong Trump cheering declined steadily in the second half of the debate. The enthusiasm spread out to other candidates, especially to Rubio and to Scott Walker, who got his best response when he made reference to Hillary Clinton s e-mails and track record on the topic of national security.

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